Travel Often

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” — Rosalia de Castro

Love Deeply, but Laugh Along the Way

"Happiness is only real when shared." - Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

View Marriage as an Adventure

"Love is a flower which turns into fruit at marriage." ~Finnish Proverb

Fuel your body with GOOD (It's the only one you get)

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything. - Arabian Proverb

Open your Soul to Motherhood

A Grand Adventure is About to Begin - Winnie the Pooh

A New Kind of Love is Born

Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Surviving Motherhood Day by Day - Week 2

Week 2

I was hoping I'd be a little better at updating my blog with monumental moments in Jackson's life, but I guess I'm lucky if I can take a shower AND shave my legs under three minutes. Or eat breakfast and lunch with both hands. I will say I have quickly learned how to use my feet to pick up stuff around the house or how to take power naps when I can. It's kind of interesting how we adapt to a new environment and how easy it is to freak out when there is so much change.

Our little family

And that is my life right now. One big change.

It's crazy. I never understood what that meant when people said that my life would turn upside down, until now.

We officially survived the first two weeks and are entering our third week. Every day is getting better - there are still harder days than others and this is a challenge for me. Instead of averaging two hours of sleep, I have graduated to about four to five (hopefully I'm not speaking too soon). YAY! I feel like a new woman. Kind of.

I was walking home from Wal-Mart after picking up our second bag of 76-count Pamper Swaddlers for Newborns...I still can't believe how many diapers we go through and that they are $20 a pop!!! How much can one baby poop?? And I can't even believe I was so nervous to change a diaper before all this. I already feel like a pro. Anyway, I started thinking of where I was at that moment and who I've become in such a short amount of time. Every step I took, I realized I was then taking a step as a "mom". I wasn't just Christie anymore. I had a new identity - another new title. And it doesn't seem real. Yes, I was dressed in an old t-shirt and workout shorts, something I wore when I had so much freedom and I'd go play volleyball (oh, how simple life was then), but I wasn't that girl anymore. I was, and am, a mom now...and forever.


It felt like I was walking in a tunnel and everything around me was spinning out of control. There I was a very new mom, scared out of her mind, wondering how life could change so much, so quickly. I have a baby now. The list of new responsibilities are endless. I was now going to Wal-Mart to pick up diapers. Where were the happy hours and the nights of volleyball and catching up on our television shows with Karl and making masterpiece healthy dinners? Where did that all go? Is this all really happening? Would I be waking up soon?

For a second I missed the old me (again). I have officially lost contact with the outside world. (OK. I did get my Breaking News email from People Magazine letting me know Jessica Simpson had a 9 lb 13 ounce girl.) I haven't been able to check into AOL or connect with friends as fast as I used to. I have to carve out time just to blog, and I NEED to blog. This is therapeutic for me. I'm not available as I once was and I think this is killing people as I hear about it quite frequently.

"You have time to update Facebook, but you don't have time to call me?"

*Enter guilt*

And let me tell you, people will lay the guilt on nice and thick. But I remind myself that these are the people who just don't get it - the ones who haven't been here yet.

Dad giving Jackson his first bath

I don't watch the morning news anymore. I never know what the temperature is outside or what the weekly forecast is. I don't know the day of the week and I've never felt time go so fast in my life. Honestly, time is flying. I don't even brush my hair or put on makeup.

Ponytail look again? Sure.

I'm lucky if I wash my face or change my clothes if I get peed on. I have been "hosed" by Jackson over a handful of times already. If I want a cocktail, I have to figure it in between feedings. And then I have to ask myself, is a drink even worth it? I have had to learn how to cook dinner with a screaming baby in one hand and sacrifice some of the healthier options for simplicity. And all that weight I was freaking about gaining? Not even a worry in my mind. Day four after giving birth and I was down 20 pounds. The next week I was down five more. But who cares because all I slip on are stretch pants or wear my pajama pants all day. I'm happy if I get a walk in. I considered yesterday a success because I was able to make chocolate banana bread and go for a walk. The day before that I was able to write three thank you cards.


I was able to complete 120 Christmas cards in 30 minutes in my old life while texting, Facebooking and doing the dishes. My new life I could only get to THREE cards with poor penmanship.

This is hard for me to swallow. I always considered myself a very efficient person who excelled at multi-tasking. And all I can do is feed Jackson, love him, play with him, cuddle him and go on walks with him. I know that's all I SHOULD be doing, but I feel like I'm not doing enough to keep the new me connected to the old me. That I need to do more, but I physically can't. So I watch CSI, and Jerseylicious and Guiliana and Bill and anything else I can watch to take my mind off of feeling guilty or to feel like I'm actually somewhat human.

I've begun to freak out about finances and am left wondering how we're going to pay the hospital bills coming in with me taking 12 weeks off work, with property taxes coming due and our car insurance and everything else that continues to add up. Thankfully my older brother was able to spare some frequent flyer miles so Karl wouldn't have to purchase a $800 plane ticket to take his final exam in a couple weeks. Will I have to start buying mac and cheese? Will I have to cancel my gym membership?

I've begun to think about day care and what I'm going to do when Jackson gets sick when I'm at work or our day care provider calls to say she can't watch Jackson because she or one of her kids is sick. What will I do then? How will I even know if Jackson is sick? How will I be? How will I balance work and being a mom and everything else when I could barely survive the first two weeks of his life? How can I leave Jackson in the care of someone else? Ugh! This kills me. But then I wonder how stay-at-home moms do it. Because the days are lonely being cooped up in a house with a baby. And that is my cue to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. I can't watch another episode of Super Nanny or check Facebook every two minutes. But then I go back to breast feeding. Can I do it in public? Will I able able to handle the pressure? Can I do it without having My BrestFriend by my side?

And then I take a deep breath and remind myself that I still have to take each moment day by day or else my anxiety gets the best of me. I'm lucky to be here today. I'm lucky I gave birth to the most perfect little boy. Nobody can predict what tomorrow will bring. There are some crazy horrible things going on out there, so what am I complaining about?

The late night hours are the hardest. Breast feeding is still a challenge and I still think the feedings come waaaay too quick. Didn't I just feed you?? But I've survived as Jackson is gaining weight now and the doctor doesn't need to see him for two more months, but that doesn't mean b-feeding is all of a sudden easy. It takes work, time, lots of dedication. It's kind of a lonely moment for me. I see Karl sleeping soundly and part of me gets resentful and jealous. I never once felt those things before, but I'd be lying if I said they don't creep up inside me. I don't know if it's because I love sleep just as much and I haven't been getting enough so the crabby Christie comes out? Or I just know what a process breast feeding is? Maybe if it only took three minutes, I'd be OK with it...

Let's just say I can't wait until May 15 when Karl's school is ALL OVER WITH. This has been so hard with him working and trying to finish orthotics school with exams every weekend and papers to write and braces for legs to build. There isn't a whole lot of time for fun in Karl's life right now.
Jackson and I go for walks every day! One of my favorite parts.

Sometimes I get lucky and Karl will change the diaper quick and those are the nights that don't seem so bad. But usually I get up, change the diaper, feed Jackson and then hum. All I know to hum is Amazing Grace. I don't know why, but I like humming this to him - it makes me feel I'm back in 6th grade learning how to play the recorder...and for some reason I feel like Jackson likes it too.

Sometimes I struggle with trying to get Jackson back into sleep mode. He looks so content and sweet while he eats. He'll even pass out cold. But as soon as I move him, those beautiful blue eyes pop open and he's wide awake. We stare at each other and I wonder if he can feel how much I love him? I wonder if he can see the love in my eyes? Lots of times I'm too tired to speak, but I feel like he just knows. But I say, "I love you" out loud anyway because I know too many friends who never heard their parents say those words and that makes me very sad.

Every now and then I'll get lucky and can put him right in the bassinet and he's out. Other times it's hours before he'll close his eyes and I'm able to set him down. And these are the times I wonder how I'm going to survive all this. Can I really do this? How much longer will I last? When will this pass? Will life be like this for the next three months? Six? Nine? For the rest of my life? Will I ever sleep again? Will Karl and I go back to our tradition of crawling in bed together, reading and shutting off the lights? Now, I'm upstairs, downstairs, in bed, on the couch, in the nursery...anywhere where Jackson will fall asleep. And I miss Karl like crazy...even if he's sitting right next to me.
Umbilical cord fell off 15 days after Jackson was born!

But I can't help but smile when Jackson stares up at me, exploring this new world. I love him so much and each day that love grows and grows. And I keep saying all of this is worth it. All of it. We are so lucky we get to experience this and have such a healthy, wonderful boy - someone I can't wait to get to know. Who is this little boy going to become?

And then I realize I really am a mom. Because I worry. I over think everything. I over analyze. And I worry some more. And I love. I love to the point I have to question if this is just a taste of what God feels for us? What heaven must be like? And something deep inside me pushes me into the next day, inspiring me to keep going, to keep be the best mom I can be.

And then I do it all over again and every day it gets a little easier.  And I know I can do this.